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More doctors needed to tackle disease outbreaks in EAC

By Evaline Namuwaya

Added 4th February 2019 02:23 PM

Deborah Malac, America's ambassador to Uganda said there is a lot of training that needs to be done so that Africans can be able to solve their own challenges.

 
 
The ministry of health has been boosted with more researchers to help fight the various disease outbreaks in the country.
 
Dr. Rhoda Wanyenze. the dean of the School of Public health said some graduates have been absorbed by the ministry to help curb the life-threatening Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo and other outbreaks such as cholera and measles that have hit the country. She was officiating at the graduation of cohort 2017 of the Uganda Public Health Fellowship Program.
 
She said the school has so far graduated over 300 doctors to help handle disease outbreaks in the country.
 
“We have built competent doctors to respond to public health threats. The doctors are trained to meet the World Health Organisation standards and can be employed anywhere in the world,” Wanyenze said.
 
Dr. Yonas Tegegn Woldemariam, the WHO Country Representative said with the rampant outbreaks of diseases on the continent, these doctors have made a commitment to be at the forefront of tackling the challenges.
 
“There are about 250 severe events of outbreaks in Africa a year, 150 of these are in Sub-Saharan African. We believe that these doctors will not only be useful to Uganda but the region as well,” he said.
 
Deborah Malac, America's ambassador to Uganda said there is a lot of training that needs to be done so that Africans can be able to solve their own challenges. Citing the outbreak of Ebola in Liberia in the past, she said it was the Africa doctors that came in to save the day.
 
“Africa needs to solve its own problems, we also have challenges in our country and we might not be able to come in handy to tackle some outbreaks. I believe continuous training of more doctors like these ones will help solve many outbreaks on the continent,” she noted.
 
Graduates speak out
 
Dr. Suzan Kizito Kironde, one of the graduates said she has gained much experience from the two years of training.
 
“I now have a new experience in health management, will continue working with the ministry of health in doing source-based research on outbreaks to help change some policies,” she said.
 
Dennis Okethwangu believes the evidence they gathered during their training can help the ministry of health on policies that would help solve different outbreaks.
 
This is the third graduation of the School of Public health and so far, 390 students have been trained in the Uganda Public Health Program since 2014.

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